The Crazy World of Inkjet Printers (3)

June 27th, 2013 by RoyReed

Well it’s happened again. Just three months out of warranty and the print head on my Deskjet 3070a has died (no it’s not repairable or replaceable) and with a batch of spare ink cartridges I’m stuck with buying yet another HP printer. At least the people who I spoke to at HP technical support were as polite and helpful as they could be under the circumstances. Eventually I got passed on to sales and they offered me a big discount on a new Photosmart 5520 with free delivery which arrived less than 12 hours after I placed the order. This has a two year warranty, so expect another post on this topic in about 25 months time!

St Briocus Church, Lezant

June 7th, 2013 by RoyReed

Yesterday I photographed two more churches (Lezant and Lawhitton) in my ongoing project to record all of the churches in Cornwall. Inside Lezant was an amazing slate tomb and monument to the Trefusis family.

The memorial is made up of a chest with backplate and end wall panel. Carved in relief on the backplate, inside a border of strapwork, are three shields. The first shield displays the arms of Trefusis quartered with Tresithney; the centre shield shows the crest and arms of Trefusis impaling Coryton; and on the third shield the arms of Trefusis quartering Milliton. Some slight traces of colour remain to show how the tomb might have originally looked..

At a right-angle against the south wall is a panel divided into two parts by a border showing an angel’s head and a pattern of a trailing vine. In the top half is the figure of Thomas Trefusis kneeling on a cushion before a prayer pedestal with an open book on it. He wears a ruff with his doublet and hose, while behind him his wife kneels wearing traditional gown and headdress. In the lower half of the panel are carved the kneeling figures of two sons and two daughters, the second daughter already deceased, as shown by a small skull.

On the top panel of the chest, which is badly cracked and worn, are two verses, one of them in Latin. The front panel is decorated with a design of four scrolls each with a Latin phrase. The end panel has a verse and simple incised pattern.

This marble monument faire though it be,
Trefusis, yet is farre unfit for thee;
Thou meek and mild, incidious unto none;
This base as beynge, if traced out of earth;
Thou generous by descent, of ancient birth;
And which is most, this fraile and ever wasting;
But thou eternal now and everlastinge.
Only herein this tomb seems like to thee.
As this, so thou in Church still lovest to bee.
The soules of those whose bodies thus ar spent,
seated above the starry firmament
have gaynd a state more permanent and sure;
let him (that hopes to have his house indure
for ever) build it there, where death nor fate
shall alter or determine his estate.

The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Chaldon

April 24th, 2013 by RoyReed

Chaldon ChurchNot much work yesterday, so I went for a drive to see the church of St Peter and St Paul at Chaldon in Surrey. It’s famous for its 12th century wall painting showing the Ladder of Souls and the Seven Deadly Sins.

The lower half of the mural depicts the torments and punishments of the wicked while the upper half shows the judgement and salvation of souls. In the centre is a ladder which people either climb to heaven or fall from to hell. The face of Christ appears in a cloud at the top. To the bottom right is the tree of knowledge with the serpent and sinners in the torments of hell. At the bottom left sinners are boiled in a cauldron. The top right panel shows the ‘Harrowing of Hell’ where Christ drives his staff into the devil’s mouth. The top left shows the weighing of souls.

A full description of the painting can be found here.

And you can see a 360° panorama of the interior of the church here.

Flash, HTML5 and Kite Flying

April 9th, 2013 by RoyReed

dt04 - team hairpinA long time ago I animated all of the International Sport Kite compulsory figures using Flash. These animations became the de facto standard for competition kite flying – in fact some of the judges wanted them to be the official standard instead of the static diagrams. When Jobs and Apple decided to drop support for Flash on the iPhone and iPad it meant that people using those platforms couldn’t view the animations when they were in the field.

Well, it’s taken some time, but I’ve now added HTML5 versions of the animations to all 123 pages (there are only 99 figures, but some the dual-line team figures are shown for 3, 4 and 5 kite teams). The conversions were done using Google’s Swiffy. It’s not a perfect conversion as for some reason the buttons to turn the grid and figure lines on and off didn’t work (so I’ve dropped them on the HTML5 versions), but at least all the fanboys will now be able to see how the figures are meant to be flown.

I case you want to look, you’ll only see the HTML5 versions of the animations if your browser isn’t Flash enabled.

Edit 12/04/2013: I’ve added HTML5 functionality to my Kite Trick animations as well.

Italian Properties

March 18th, 2013 by RoyReed

Italian PropertiesI’ve just finished a new website for Italian Properties who have six holiday villas situated north of Lucca near Coreglia Antelminelli which lies in the beautiful Garfagnana region of Tuscany. I first made a website for them nearly 13 years ago to a design done by an illustrator friend. It was his first website and the fact that it has lasted all that time without looking too out-of-date is a testament to how good it was for the time.

The new site makes extensive use of FloatBox – the best of all the Lightbox clones.

Kevin Ayers – R.I.P.

February 21st, 2013 by RoyReed

Kevin AyersI just heard on the news that Kevin Ayers has died. Kevin was one of the founders of the band Soft Machine in the 1960s. They were the first band I ever saw live (at the Country Club in Belsize Park in 1969). He left Soft Machine later that year and began his meandering solo career writing beautiful songs that not many people ever heard. John Peel said that Ayers along with Syd Barrett were “the two most important people in British pop music. Everything that came after came from them.” I couldn’t disagree.

I actually met him once – he was very nice to me.

Birding or Twitching?

January 26th, 2013 by RoyReed

While I’ve been working down in Cornwall I’ve been lucky enough to see some beautiful birds just by looking out of my window. There were two that I couldn’t recognise and I had to ask on a birder’s forum. It turned out they were a black-tailed and bar-tailed godwit. The photo’s not the best – I wasn’t quite close enough and I was having to shoot at 800ASA – but I’m still quite pleased to have photographed two birds at the same time that have RSPB red and amber status. I was a bit more pleased with the quality of the photos I took of a curlew and a lapwing, also amber and red status birds.

All of the photos were taken on my pocket Fuji F600.

Cornish Church Panoramas

January 24th, 2013 by RoyReed

In the last few days I’ve added some new 360° panoramas of some Cornish Churches, namely Ladock, Crantock, Lanlivery and Luxulyan. They all had some amazing features: the altar painting at Ladock, the font, rood screen and wood carving at Crantock, the bellringers’ painted sign and ceiling bosses at Lanlivery and the font and memorials at Luxulyan.

You can see more photos of Cornish Churches at my Flickr pages.

Seduced by Art

December 17th, 2012 by RoyReed

This morning I went to see ‘Seduced by Art’, the first exhibition at the National Gallery to feature photography. What a disappointment! The majority of photography in the exhibition was of the Turner Prize variety – full of nothing but post-justification of a trivial concept. The comparisons between the photographs and paintings were trite and largely meaningless and showed a complete lack of knowledge of photography on the part of the curators. I find it hard to believe that the comments in the labels had any thought behind them whatsoever. My favourite referred to the photograph of the naked Man with Octopus Tattoo by Richard Learoyd (which has been used on the poster for the exhibition) which describes how the tentacle rising up the man’s back follows and reinforces the curve of his spine. It just doesn’t!

Seduced by Art

For a review that states it better than I ever could (and before you choose to part with the  £12 entrance fee), you should read what Brian Sewell thought of the exhibition.

TopStyle v5

November 20th, 2012 by RoyReed

topstyle-iconVersion 5 of TopStyle, the HTML and CSS editor, has just been released today. Stefan van As, the Dutch Delphi programmer, took over the development of TopStyle from Nick Bradbury (the original creator) some time ago and has introduced lots of new features to bring it up-to-date and make it compatible with HTML5 and CSS3. I’ve been beta testing and have also helped out by writing the new CSS3 definition file. I even get a name-check in the credits in the help files! If you hand-roll your own code you really should check it out.